This book is dedicated to the most mysterious and controversial events in biblical history. On the basis of the biblical texts and ancient Near Eastern sources, the author, a professor of Near Eastern Studies, presents an entirely new view of the history of Early Israel and the origin of the Hebrew tribes. He suggests that the genealogy of biblical family constitutes a combination of the legends of two tribal groups – the southern and northern, which arrived in Canaan and then left for Egypt at different times. The Southerners stayed in Egypt for 430 years - the Northerners, 250 years - and occupied there different positions in the socio-political structure . These two groups of Western Semitic tribes left Egypt and conquered their place in Canaan at different times as well. The initial version of their common genealogy and history was composed during the United Monarchy in the first half of the 10th century B.C. The early biblical history with which we are familiar, up until 12th century B.C., only represents the history of the southern tribal group, “Jacob,” to which were later added a few fragments from the past concerning the northern group, “Israel.” Where the archaeologists and historians look for the history of one people, is in reality the hidden past of two relative, but different peoples. That is one of the primary reasons of the controversy between the facts mentioned in the Old Testament and archaeological discoveries of the last decades. The book takes a new look at the epoch of the patriarchs, the sojourn in Egypt, the Exodus, and the conquest of Canaan. It is written in a style that is clear, engaging, and easily accessible to the general public.
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